Khmerican Family Abroad | #5 - Thali Reflections ๐Ÿฑ๐Ÿš

justinparke
Justin Parke @justinparkeAugust 2019 ยท 4 min read

| WHAT IS A THALI REFLECTION? |


Some of you Indian food lovers might be familiar with the word thali, the Hindi word for plate/tray. It also refers to the Indian style meal consisting of a variety of dishes all served on this thali.


@Sreypov and I are both chefs; we used to run a thali restaurant in Cambodia before coming here to Suriname. At our restaurant we served a different daily $4 thali based on what produce was local, cheap and fresh at the market. We took a picture of every thali we ever made, and Pov and I have watched Sakana grow up in these very photos.


The very first thali, shaking down Babylon ๐Ÿฆ


| THE MINISTER OF PROPAGANDA |


Sreypov and I would rush the kids to school in the morning, then have just enough time to stop by the market, buy veggies for the day's thali and return home to cook. As soon as the thali was finished, I had just enough time to race back to school to get Sakana in the rickshaw and return home once again.


As soon as I had returned from school with Sakana, it was time to take a photo of the thali with her and upload it by 10:30am. We opened at 11am, so it was crucial to get everything done fast and eat our thalis before customers began to arrive. Our daughter Sakana was known locally as the Minister of Propaganda for her role in marketing each day's thali.


Another random thali, a little older and wiser ๐Ÿค”


We had originally planned to just take an artsy picture of the thali each day, but Sakana demanded to present it for customers, so we complied. Eventually it turned into a staple of our restaurant, and our customers looked forward to these daily photos. The thali eventually took a backseat to the real star, the new Minister of Propaganda.


Big sister filling in on a sick day ๐Ÿค’


| THE RESTAURANT |


We received customers from all over the world, as well as local foreign residents. Our biggest customer base were Ukrainian, Israeli and Japanese nationals. We were the only Ital restaurant in Cambodia, so many people came from far and wide to try our unique food. We even once hosted a private party for a group of Ethiopian soldiers who'd never eaten Indian food.


Ready for school; you can't beat your own private yellow school bus ๐ŸšŒ


Our restaurant's cuisine was a mix of South and Southeast Asian flavors with a little bit of Caribbean influence. It was a really unique concept to do a mixed thali like that. Why shouldn't you be able to eat Tofu Larb with your Sambar and Tempeh Balado right? I always thought Cambodian and Indian flavors complimented each other quite well.


Experimenting with a ladies' half-size thali ๐Ÿง˜


It was a rough and busy life, but we really enjoyed making new and different dishes each day, and not being confined to a menu. We were never hungry when we ran the thali restaurant, and we loved meeting new people from all around the world everyday.


I think she called this the one the "gangster thali" ๐Ÿ•ถ๏ธ


We eventually closed the restaurant due to the loss of my residency permit of which I was unable to renew. It was very difficult to leave Cambodia, but we love our new home here in Suriname. This country has a lot of Javanese and Indian descendants from Dutch colonial times. Strangely enough Cambodia has a long history of cultural and religious ties with India and Java.


We are hoping to reopen our restaurant here in Suriname someday soon, and I think the Surinamese will take to our food very quickly. But a lot has to happen before we can make a restaurant in Suriname.


Put up your dukes; I'll fight you for this thali!! ๐ŸฅŠ


The biggest joy we have from our restaurant in Cambodia are the memories. There are hundreds of photos of Sakana with our thalis, and it's only now I've looked at all of them and noticed how she has grown from a toddler to a young girl behind the thali.


Let me know what you think of this story.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask me.
I'll do my best to answer you.

I care a lot about what my followers and the Steemit community at large think -- so feel free to leave a comment.

Follow me @justinparke


Woohoo! I was the winner of a recent writing contest hosted by @invisusmundi. Take a look at that and also my most recent post.

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WINNER OF THE TRAVEL WRITING CONTEST NO.1
Score at Skelterbaan

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pode
pode @podeAugust 2019

pocketsend:[email protected], play around with the token of fun - POCKET!


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Successful Send of 11
Sending Account: pode
Receiving Account: justinparke
New sending account balance: 265812
New receiving account balance: 10
Fee: 1
Steem trxid: 445e31efd2ffc960598647b0d55be403cb5f2fb5


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Someone sent you some POCKET tokens. POCKET is an experimental sub-token system which operates on the Steem blockchain. It's like having a custom token without SMT. You can also send some to someone else by just commenting on a post with the following command: pocketsend:[email protected]_name,memo for example to send 10 tokens to @pocketjs, make a comment starting with: pocketsend:[email protected],This is a gift

I am running Pocket-JS confirmer code.


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Thanks but I don't have the slightest clue what these things are.


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The food looks AMAZING @justinparke - very nice. Personally the stainless steel school canteen - hospital food trays always put me off, but I appreciate their functionality. The Thai people serve much the same but in little ceramic bowls, which FEELS better to me. Nonetheless, the meals look delectable and you're making me hungry.

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@ecoTrain

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Thanks! Yeah, we wanted to buy proper copper plated thalis and bowls, but the overall costs would've been more than net value of our whole restaurant. With our scale, it certainly made the dishwashing faster and allowed us to spend more time on food. It was only Pov and I, the two of us that ran the whole restaurant, with our daughters occasionally cleaning dishes and delivering food.

I'll check out the post. Thanks again @ecoTrain.


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Wow! Very good memories of Sakana, so nice.


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Thank you Pov, don't worry we'll have a restaurant again someday.


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Congratulations! Your high-quality travel content was selected by @travelfeed curator @smeralda and earned you a partial upvote. We love your hard work and hope to encourage you to continue to publish strong travel-related content.
Thank you for being part of the TravelFeed community!

Thanks for posting through TravelFeed.io! You have received a larger upvote from us. We hope to see you soon on TravelFeed.io!
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As always, thanks to TravelFeed.io for the service provided. Thanks @smeralda for your curation work. I am really loving the Travel Feed platform.

And as always a big thanks to @invisumundi for his new writing contests!


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More power to all of us .. may the travel community thrive!!!!


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Omg, hahah. This is just too sweet and amazing! :)


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Thanks @gabrielatravels. I'm following you vicariously through your travels.


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You are too sweet! Thanks! :D


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Great stories from your time in Cambodia! Those dishes do look yummy and would love to have a taste if your daughter will let me haha! Congratulations on winning the contest as well!


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Thank you so much. Our youngest one is very cheeky. I am such a newbie here and my two part short story was mess of words with what some said was too much details and not enough about the travel. I was glad to see many Steemians liked reading a story in a bit longer format, and enjoyed some of the small details. I am experimenting now with short form and long form, and still don't know how all this will be affected by the new hardfork.


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Ah don't worry about it man, you will improve. My first blogs were terrible but over time and practice, you'll find your own writing style and blog formats will be even more awesome! This was a pretty good post though and well written so you're a quick learner!

I don't think you should worry about the hardfork and just focus on your own methods, then along the way, you'll adapt, fine tune, tweakโ€ฆ it's a forever evolving process anyway! I think between 800-1200 words is probably optimal. I've written 6,000 pieces before but the challenge is always the same, making it engaging.

Keep going my friend, looking forward to reading more travel adventures!


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Thanks again. Well, I'm following you too and look forward to more of your content. My upvotes on comments are only symbolic now, as I don't have enough voting power to reach a cent or two. However, I see you are producing good content on this platform, so I can help you with upvotes for your posts, which combined with others can become something. Hopefully in the future I can reward readers who interact with my stories a one or two cent comment upvote, but until they don't add up unless someone else upvotes.

It's the least I can do and I hope to help other content people producing good content on here, as I can't see the future if every other post is about how to build a whale or make more ROI on Steem.


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joshman
joshman @joshmanAugust 2019

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I just started cross-posting my stuff there. You could start there from the beginning with your blog. You can earn a few different ethereum tokens there (including BAT, which is a Ethereum token ranked a full 60 places higher on Coinmarketcap over STEEM).


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Thanks again @joshman. Things are still going better than I expected. I havenโ€™t heard of this site, Iโ€™ll have to check it out.


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Just popcorn, no upvote?


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